What is Palliative Care? It is specialized medical care focusing on improving the care and quality of life for patients with advanced illness by decreasing suffering. It can be delivered concurrently with curative care. Early identification of patients who are likely to benefit is key. How do you decide whether your patient could benefit from a palliative care consult?
An 82-year-old female is brought into the Emergency Department by family for a several day history of progressive altered mental status. You initiate a broad workup. However, soon after initial evaluation, you are called back into the room. The patient’s vitals are as follows and concerning for septic shock and an alarming serum sodium level.
Ultrasound For the Win! Case: 38-year-old pregnant woman with acute right-sided abdominal pain #US4TW
Welcome to another ultrasound-based case, part of the “Ultrasound For The Win!” (#US4TW) Case Series. In this peer-reviewed case series, we focus on real clinical cases where bedside ultrasound changed management or aided in diagnoses. In this case, a 38-year-old pregnant woman presents with acute right-sided abdominal pain radiating to her flank.
A 26-year-old woman presented to an urban Detroit emergency department complaining of bilateral foot pain after walking outside in the snow for 30 minutes without shoes or socks. She was unable to ambulate secondary to the pain and swelling. Physical examination revealed bilateral pallor, doughy texture, and coolness to the touch. There was generalized tenderness to palpation throughout the digits. The overlying skin was edematous, although without signs of breakdown.
In the emergency department (ED), failure to comply with discharge instructions has been associated with an increased rate of adverse outcomes for patients. 1,2 There is tremendous variability in the information that is provided to patients in discharge paperwork. In some EDs, a simple handwritten discharge note is given to the patient, while in others, extensive, diagnosis specific pre-created instructions are provided to patients at time of discharge. To improve patient outcomes and reduce their medicolegal risk, providers must recognize pitfalls associated with discharge instructions and include two key elements as a part of all discharge paperwork.
Severe sepsis and septic shock affect millions of patients worldwide and have high rates of morbidity and mortality as well as high resource utilization. The way we manage sepsis has changed quite a bit since the Rivers et al randomized controlled trial of early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) 1 , which had an absolute decrease in mortality from 46% with “usual care” to 31% with EGDT. What we now know is that a proactive approach to septic patients will result in lower mortality rates and better outcomes (i.e. early identification, early intravenous fluids, and early antibiotics). Patients with sepsis are still missed despite the fact that we understand the benefits to morbidity and mortality with early recognition. In this blast from the past study from 2007, Howell et al 2 answered the important question of does elevated lactic acid simply reflect a patient’s hemodynamic status or can it independently predict 28 day in-hospital mortality after controlling for other potential confounders in patients with sepsis. (more…)
I was recently the author of a PV card for management of Salicylate Toxicity, which had some discrepancy with expert opinion. The point of contention was in regards to measurement of urine pH vs serum pH for alkalinization. In preparing the first version of the card, I began with notes from a recent toxicology rotation, and expanded by examining textbooks and review articles. Although there was mention of serum pH measurement, numerous sources emphasized urine alkalinization as the primary endpoint for the treatment of aspirin toxicity. Therefore I choose to include this on the size-limited PV card.